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, instead just voting to reinstate a tax cut, that then it sort of president obama's tax cut so he gets credit for that. >> do you have any sense of what will happen around that table today? who called the meeting if there's an agenda or are they going to sit around and stare at each other until one of them blinks? >> we don't have a sense. i'm sure that we will be getting a sense. this is supposed to take place at 3:00 p.m. at the white house. the vice president, president and four top congressional leaders. we don't know what will be said. i think we will likely hear from some camps afterwards. >> if you are wondering what a trip down the fiscal cliff might mean for your paycheck, for your 401(k), look no further than yesterday's dow. at the opening bell, a dive of more than 1%. investors finding little hope for the fiscal cliff compromise on capitol hill. when word came down two sides might be meeting. reversal of fortune. the dow rebounding for a while before finishing slightly lower. >>> a nation this morning remembering the american general credited with orchestrating one of the m
cliff package that president obama laid out on friday, which moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word yet on when the house of representatives might come back, but democrats say the only hope we have of something getting through the house, the senate and the white house may be a very last-minute deal. cnn radio's lisa is following developments on capitol hill right now. the ball is in senate majority leader harry reid's court it would seem right now, lisa. >> that's right. harry reid and the senate seem to be the only game in town right now with the senate returning today. we also know from sources, ali, that over this christmas break there were no conversations between the president and top-level republicans. sources from both parties are telling us they are watching the senate, especially the democratic leadership in the senate. we also know yesterday house republicans came out with a statement saying that he will act only after the u.s. senate acts. we're not sure what the senate will do, as you say, we're expecting that smaller deal. what exactly will they vote on? pe
-cuttingest democrat in the history of the republic. and the bush tax rates will be replaced by the obama tax rates. so he knows he's in a better position than they are. the question is as the clock ticks down and markets become anxious and capital becomes scarce and people are worried about what's going to happen out there, that the president has to think as much as he'd be better off then -- and, certainly, senator barrasso makes a good point about that -- the president's going to have some gut-check moments while he's out on the golf course and looking at the blue pacific, he's going to have to think can his second-term presidency really begin in the midst of a recession, and is he going to be okay with that? gregg: all right, so the clock is ticking, but there's another clock we're keeping a close eye on. i mean, we're talking about the debt clock. look at that, $16.3 trillion and growing second by second. and the president instead of focusing on cuts, he actually demanded even more spending, new stimulus, additional spending. maybe he doesn't think that $16 trillion is a real problem even though y
that president obama wants to raise taxes on. >> he was putting it at 400,000 senator, i want to move to the issue of guns. we heard what ray lapierre said earlier. he was singling out one of your colleagues. i want you to listen to part of his interview. >> you could ban all diane fine stein, done whatever you said to. she had insure bean and columbine occurred. >> is the revival of that ban, is that going to pass? >> i think that's a phony piece of legislation. >> so dianne feinstein was brought up i think five times in that interview. do you think this line of attack is going to work for the n perform a, piling on california lawmaker, from that state? pinches i think we have to take up all the issues. they mass killings have to stop and we have to do everything we can. it will include looking at how many bullets do you need in a magazine in a semiautomatic weapon? i don't know, but i'd like all the hunters to come to the table as well as the people who live in cities who do not want guns and want gun controls. we had need a real dialogue, not just a one-sided one. we need to talk a
obama campaigned campn capping it at $250,000, raising taxes on those who earn more than $250k, but some of the discussion and it is buzz around capitol hill has been about perhaps going to the $400,000 mark. the question is, will you get enough republicans to buy in if that is the deal? shannon? >> thanks to mike on capitol hill. we will continue to check in. now to ed henry, continuing our live team coverage from the white house. good afternoon, ed. >> reporter: good to see you, this is the president going out and trying to frame this debate on his own terms, appearing on a sunday talk show for the first time since 2009, when he was pushing health care reform, now, obviously trying to sell a fiscal cliff deerl deal. he went on nbc's "meet the press," again and again, he hammered the message, trying to put the blame on republicans for the fact we are up against this tight deadline. the president made clear that if republicans in the next 48 hours do not come up with a counter proposal to get us through this crisis, he wants an up-or-down vote on his short-term plan to extend unemploymen
off to hawaii, president obama was prepared to accept a smaller deal as long as it prevented taxes from going up on middle class americans and extended unemployment insurance. >> i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it pass both chambers, and i will immediately sign that legislation into law before january 1st of next year. >> reporter: but americans say the uncertainty in washington is casting a cloud over their holidays. >> they are responsible for the well-being of all americans, and right now they're more woern wored about politics. >> i would tell them to get off their butts, because most of us aren't making six-figure incomes and we need every single dime that we have. >> reporter: now, if we go over the fiscal cliff, taxes will increase for most americans. lawmakers will return to washington later this week to resume negotiations. president obama is also expected to cut his vacation short. willie, back to you. >> kristen welker in honolulu this morning. thanks. >>> john harwood is the chief washington correspondent and writing for "the new yo
to get a deal for weeks and says the real problem that republicans won't admit that obama won the election. >> on taxes, i know it's hard for republicans but the president ran on the platform. 250. no tax increase for people below but taxes for people above. he won. 60% of voters said they were for it in exit polls including republicans. >> wake of house speaker john boehner's plan "b" failure, all eyes turn to senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell and whether they work out something short of $4 trillion grand bargain. last-minute stop gap. attending tax cut for people making $250,000 or less. and unemployment benefits for 2 million people who will lose the benefits a week after christmas. >> it is going to be a patch. because in four days we can't solve everything. >> yet, other republicans note the president short-term fix raises some taxes, yet punt spending cuts until next year. >> i would vote for revenue, including the tax rate hike though i don't like them to get, to save the country from becoming greece. i'm not going to set aside the $1.2 trillion in cuts. >>
. president obama will meet with leaders today to avoid tax hikes. we will have an in-depth report just a few moments. here is a check of the traffic. >> here is the impact of the water main break. this is 355 just south of the beltway. the right lane is still squeezing by. the best way is to head into georgetown road. we will take a look at springfield with everything moving smoothly. 395 moving without delay, accidents, or incidents. at the forecast. >> 37 degrees is our temperature right now. way into theour upper thirties and low '40's with sunshine between the cloudiness. t is when tonight, tha the snow begins. think everyone will get some mixing through the south and east. heavier amounts in the blue area.ry the snow lasts through the g tomorrow and dries up in the day. it will be sunny but breezy on sunday. >> double for watching. have another update [ cheers and applause ] >>> wow. amazing. hello. hello. good morning. look at d.j. kiss, getting it done. she's also a smart d.j. because he's inside. >> a little cold out here. >> it's brisk out here. george, robin, lara, they drew the lo
with the obama white house. >> the president's statement is right. no one wants taxes to go up on the middle class. i don't want them to go up on anybody. i'm not in the majority of the united states senate. he is the president of the united states. >> when i listen to the president i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. he gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs. he gets to cut the military which democrats have been calling for for years. and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> as a practical matter it's already too late for employers to accurately withhold taxes from january paychecks unless there is no change. so workers will feel immediately that 2% hike in the social security tax in those first january pay checks. bill? >> hampton, good to see you. merry christmas. we'll see you later. >> merry christmas to you. >> our next guest says he is unlikely to support any deal the president and speaker can come up with. republican senator joe walsh from illinois joins us right
forward a little bit more, president obama more on spending reductions including entitlement reform, he did do some and mr. boehner, speaker boehner coming forward not just $1 million having a tax raise, those earning $400,000 to $500,000, you can get the grand bargain. it's not what we are talking today. get the fiscal cliff to where you change the scale to a bunny slope, where the skier can pick up speed, accelerate the economy up to 3%, only reducing the debt reduction down 200 billion. then with the surging economy, you get $3 trillion in february before the debt limit is broken, then the economy is so strong it can take the grand compromise and roar into the next nine years. that's the grand compromise. >> i heard you use that reference of the bunny slope. we are about to hit the bunny slope as opposed to the fiscal cliff. this is from an article in the washington post. if an agreement is reached, taxes would go up a bit for the wealthy. there would be no changes to entitlement programs, medicare, social security, no grand strategy to race cash through a tax code. a fresh start for
a deal or work something out. president obama says he is modestly optimistic that negotiations could prevent these huge tax hikes and spending cuts from kicking in. >> we don't yet see an agreement, and now the pressure is on congress to produce. if they don't, what i've said is that in the senate we should go ahead and introduce legislation that would make sure middle class taxes stay where they are, and there should be an up or down vote. everybody should have a right to vote on that. if republicans don't like it, they can vote no. >> brianna keilar, she's at the white house. brianna, they're saying they're going to come back to work in a couple of hours. a lot of people have been up a lot longer than that, up earlier, trying to figure out what's going on here. i understand you do have some news. potentially there's a new offer on the table. >> reporter: that's right. according to democratic sources, suzanne, they have gone up to $450,000 as the threshold for those income tax rates for where those bush-era tax cuts would expire. so beyond $450,000 for a family. this is somewhat sig
that it appears little was done to extend the 2010 payroll tax cuts, put in place by president obama two years ago in order to boost the economy. so what does it mean to your wallet? here is how much less you'll bring home if it expires. paychecks shrink $50 a month for those earning $30,000 a year. it shrinks $83 a month for those earning $50,000 a year. and $167 a month for those earning $100,000 a year. now, let's switch to the fiscal cliff. and what that is going to cost you. without a deal, you'll be paying lots more in tachxes. say you're single and working hard, you don't have kids, you earn $80,000 a year. if it does not go into effect, you'll pay an additional $3,000 more than what you already pay in taxes. the middle class families will get hit harder, two kids, both parents work. together you earn $80,000 a year. guess what, if there is no deal, you would owe $6,000 more in taxes next year. with so many variables, the question is how is wall street reacting? the stock market dipped every day last week. question is, what is next? alison kosik is there for us at the new york stock exchang
of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out last week. that moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word on when the house might come back with time ticking away. democrats are hoping the scaled-back plan could get through the house, senate and white house before january 1st. sometime on december 30th, maybe even new year's eve is when they're probably going to get that deal done but let's go to jonathan allen, a senior washington correspondent for politico. the top headline on politico this morning, fiscal cliff deal increasingly unlikely. jonathan, really? >> i think there's a lot of pessimism here in washington. you've got, as you pointed out, five days left. i think the real indicator here is that none of these parties are moving off their position. the senate democrats, the house republicans, the white house. there hasn't been any reason for folks to look at what's going on and say, oh, i see where a deal could be coming together. so what you've got is what's described in economic game theory is where everyone has decided on their strategy, looked at the strategies of t
, there was movement on the income level they're willing to protect from tax hikes and other levels. mr. obama, on an interview on "meet the press" was cautiously opt missic. >> i'm confident that one of two things will happen when it comes to the fiscal cliff. one, we'll see an agreement within the next 48 hours in which case middle class taxes will not go up. if that doesn't happen, then democrats in the senate will put a bill on the floor of the senate and republican also have to decide if they're going to block it. >> biden and mcconnell are said to be only about $100,000 apart on where the bush era tax cuts would expire with the republican pushing for $550,000 a year. democrats offering a 450,000. biden stowed have given up his push to raise the estate tax. democrats are trying to delay spending cuts until 2015 and republicans are demanding more spending cuts to offset extended unemployment benefits and farm subsidies. lot of ground to make up. but mcconnell says his decision to reach out to biden was a good one. >> the vice president and i worked together on solutions before and i believ
. and a mad scramble is on here in washington to avoid the drastic tax hikes and spending cuts that many fear will plunge the economy back into recession. president obama flies back from hawaii tonight to be ready if the senate comes back with a plan when it returns to work tomorrow. and house leaders are huddling with members on stand-by to return. senior congressional correspondent dana bash is following all of it for us. what are you hearing? >> there was a conference call of course members of the house leadership even, they're back in their districts, but there was a conference call today among those house republican leaders trying to figure out if and when the house should come back into session. two republican sources tell me they did not make a decision on this call. it's still up in the air. and a big reason for that is if anything can get done in the next six days, the ball is in the senate's court. the capitol is a ghost town. neither chamber in session. an eerie calm since the fiscal cliff only congress has the power to avert is less than one week away. from their home, senate demo
. because president obama perfectly going over the fiscal cliff to blame republicans because he can't default on the debt. he will have to compromise between now and february. second of all the baseline gets reset if the tax cuts expire. everybody will propose a tax cut in january and right now we're fighting whether to increase taxes or not. you can see possibility of a deal seen as win-win for both sides. third, if republicans don't come up with a deal, a bad deal right now, they still have the $800 billion in revenue they put on the table from limiting deductions and loopholes that they can use to buy down rates. so i think the odds are, after january 1 we will get a deal and it will be much more favorable deal to the republican party because we'll have the leverage and president obama won't. heather: simon, basically what mark's laid out there would be more of a bunge jump over the cliff instead after nosedive, what do you think about the possibility, good thing or bad? >> i think it is going to happen whether it is good or bad. hopefully in the first week to 10 days of the new
of the year . president obama knows this and set to expire is the bush era tax cuts . what impact will this have on the military? >> it will have an across the board impactit sequestration is so bad. we'll get across the board training to maintenance and to the next weapon system and on base things provided for families and tri-care. it hits everything. secretary panetta called it a meat axe. our readiness will be stunted by sequestration . it is bad policy. >> clayton: republicans agreed to it. you agree and say this is never going to happen. because we will get this thing done . now eight days done. is it possible to go through with a fine tooth comb and pick through. senator sessions said the fiscal cliff is like three days away. we have to read it to sign off on it. >> that's the worst. no, this is not time. let's reform it and go about it with a squaple. meet axe hacks it across the board. either we are going off of the cliff or bad short-term deal that kicks the can down the road. we need to reform quick kick in the can. >> clayton: secretary panetta, set to take over him. w
to the white house this afternoon to meet there with president obama. lawmakers are increasingly looking at the period following the december 31st deadline we're told to come up with a fix to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts, affect lives of nearly every american many economists say could plunge the economy into another recession. chief white house correspondent ed henry live with the latest. so in this meeting, ed, is there any hope they will accomplish anything? >> reporter: well it is pretty low expectations, jon. what we're expecting when you talk to top officials of both parties the president will offer a scaled back plan, something he laid out lines friday before christmas here in the white house briefing room before he went to hawaii. where he said look, we have to scale back expectations. basically just extend middle class tax cuts. don't worry about the rates for everyone else. secondly extend unememployment insurance for about two million people who will be losing it a few days from now at the end of the year. finally he refer to possibility of smaller bit ever spendin
the fundamentals are right. all of the things the obama administration has done have been anti growth, whether energy policy, trade with china, reregulation of wall street. and now this, taxing all those jobs creators, all those small businesses. i don't know why you would want to invest in this country now. gerri: let me ask you this. the congressional budget office has out its numbers. if the fiscal cliff hits they say u.s. gdp would shrink by half a percentage point and that unemployment will rise to over 9%. do you think they have the rights or are they just too conservative? will it be worse? >> if we actually went over the cliff we would be subtracted from domestic demand over $600 billion. that is about four percentage points in gdp. most economists were forecasting in the first half of next year hardly 2 percent growth. if you subtract 4% to spending from that year and a recession that is much deeper. the cbo tense and not be alarmist because they say what they are partisan, but congress read it paycheck, and they don't want to say congress is being irresponsible and thrusting the econ
. >>> and vacation over, president obama cuts his trip to hawaii short but is there enough time to find a fiscal cliff compromise with republicans or will your taxes go up? on that note, good morning. i'm drew griffin. >> the question everyone wants answered. good morning, everybody, glad you're with us. i'm alina cho. soledad is off this morning. it's wednesday, december 26th. "starting point" begins right now. 8:00 in the east, our starting point a christmas to forget for millions of americans in the south and midwest, battling blizzard conditions and tornadoes. >> oh, my god, we need to go. it's right there. >> mobile, alabama, took a real beating overnight, a twister blowing transformers, and there are reports of extensive damage to homes, a high school, and a church. 200,000 people across the south are without power this morning. >> it came in behind the church right there, and then all green floors reent lighting and it was like popping transformers left and right and heard the crash and everything and the power went out. >> i prayed to god as loud as i could and i was just praying for my
for president obama. he's cutting his vacation short. time is running out to avoid the big tax increases, the spending cuts that everybody is asking can we make a deal. [ female announcer ] almost nothing can dampen a baby's mood, when he wakes up dry in pampers. unlike other diapers, pampers has 3 absorbent layers, for up to 12 hours of protection overnight, and more beautiful mornings. ♪ pampers. peaceful nights. playful days. ♪ you make me happy when skies are gray ♪ [ female announcer ] you know exactly what it takes to make them feel better. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] that's why you choose children's tylenol. the same brand your mom trusted for you when you were young. ♪ how much i love you [ humming ] [ female announcer ] children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms cade after decade. [ humming ] >>> we're just five days away from the tax hikes, the spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff, but we are four days away from another financial challenge. that is the debt ceiling. now, compared to reaching
turning to plan c. plan a was that $4 trillion debt deal, plan b was speaker boehner's idea about tax increases only for million dollar incomes and more, now turning to plan c which is president obama's idea which is to move it back to $250,000 or more, that would be the threshold for tax cuts or tax increases in the other direction, also dealing with two million people who are losing their unemployment benefits, president wants to the take care of that by the end of the year and finally, spending cuts kicked till later next year. that's one of the key things that's going to have to be ironed out if taxes are going up for some, republicans are saying you're going to be getting more revenue in the government, make sure that's not spent on new federal programs. you look at the front page of the star advertiser, it says obama headed back to work. he'll be flying back late tonight, get back to work. the picture here that showed the president and first lady, they were with troops at a marine base here, that's become a christmas tradition before the president heads out, basically, as they w
motive. >> terrible story. a week before the fiscal cliff, tax hikes for all americans and spending cuts that could pull the economy back into recession. ho, ho, ho. that makes everybody happy on christmas morning. president obama spent christmas eve playing a round of golf with friends and the democratic senate looks like the only hope for crushing the deadlock. our white house correspondent brianna keilar maybe with a little bit of news which is pathetic because it's talks within the democratic party, but at least they are talking. >> reporter: that's right. is it really news that democrats are talking? that's all the news we have to report as of today. i know i feel a little bit like a grinch reporting this, but the white house is in talks with senate democrats. that's not really surprising as we look to the senate to be the next -- really the next ones to act on this when they reconvene on the 27th. right now it's really up to senate majority leader harry reid to try to cobble something together that can get some republican support in the senate and the house to avoid the fiscal clif
about news. we do begin with the 11th-hour scramble to keep your taxes from going up and avoid that so-called fiscal cliff in washington. president obama has called the top congressional leaders to the white house this afternoon, for the first talks in more than a month. but hope for a new deal is fading. just yesterday, the senate majority leader is accusing the speaker of running a dictatorship if there's no deal within four days. just about every american will see their taxes go on up. >>> and this morning, more snow is threatening to make holiday travel difficult for millions of americans. as sam has been telling us, snow is falling across the upper midwest and will be moving into the northeast tomorrow. meantime, the recovery from the last storm is just beginning. 135,000 homes and businesses still without power in arkansas alone. many of them could be in the dark through next week. >>> and this morning, russian president vladimir putin has signed a highly controversial bill which bans americans from adopting russian children. dozens of pending adoptions now frozen, even cases whe
's recent designation as a u.n. world heritage site. the obama family celebrated the president's birth place in hawaii and, yes, christmas brings us one day closer to possibly the fiscal cliff, the huge tax increases, spending cuts that could take effect in one week or so. brianna keeler is watching there in hawaii, joining us with the update. first of all, how is the president, how is the first family spending the holiday? >> presumably right now they are sleeping in, suzanne, because it is still very early here as you know. >> what time is it? >> we are expecting of course they'll have a christmas. let's see. 6:00 in the morning bright and early. we've been at it for a few hours. we expect them to have a nice christmas meal at the house they're renting. the white house chef is here. maybe we'll get details on what they are going to eat. there is nothing on the president's public schedule. he is frequently gone and visiting with troops in the past so we wouldn't be surprised if he did that again today. i will tell you that bo the dog is actually along for the ride here in hawaii and the whi
thou,000 a year. the bush tax cut will expire at the end of this year. obama was elected with a surplus of about three million votes. he won the election. he campaigned on this issue. again, the speaker can't take yes for an answer. the president has presented to him something that would prevent us from going over the cliff. it was response to something that the speaker gave them himself but i guess with the dysfunctional republican caucus in the house, even the speaker can't tell what they are going to do because he backed off even his own proposal. the house, we hear so often, is controlled by the republicans. and we acknowledge that. i would be most happy to move forward on something that senator mcconnell said they wouldn't filibuster over here that he would support and that boehner would support if it were reasonable. but right now we haven't heard anything. i don't know and it's none of my business, i guess, although i am very curious, if the speaker and the majority leader, the republican leader over here are even talking. i mean, what's going on here? mr. president, you can't le
on two big issues at stake here. whose taxes are going up and how much spend something going to be cut, jamie? >> jamie: an issue big enough that most people probably aren't asking what the president and mrs. obama exchanged for christmas and what was on the christmas menu. we always talk about that what do we know about how they spent their christmas? >> they have kept it very quiet. what the president is trying to do since is he likely to go back to washington tomorrow is get as much family time he's can right now with his wife, daughters and other family and friends who were here. obviously it's a little different hawaiian christmas. you can see we have got some video of some of the christmas trees here they have now brought a live christmas tree to waikiki beach. he was skinniy and had dark hair, not white hair and playing a violin. little different hawaiian christmas. in all seriousness we are expecting that the president is likely to go to the u.s. marine base here in honolulu area. he has done that the last few christmases with the first lady to feed the troops who are here. tha
. >> and when john boehner came up with what i kept seeing the pictures of john boehner and president obama sitting together and very good picture and they are both good guys to come up with a plan, and john boehner came up with a plan that democrats would not enjoy the idea that taxes going up on people earning more than $1 million a year and not acceptable for most people, but he could not get members of his own caucus to agree to it, so it is not fair for the republicans to somehow suggest that we are here because of the democrats. i am not saying that the democrats had nothing to do with it, but you can't get your own act together, and the republicans and the democrats in the house can't get their act together. >> well, we are here as inaction, and here is the deal on that, and what the president wanted to do was to generate enough revenue to cover government for agent eight days, seven or eight days and what do you do with the other 350-plus days leftover? you cannot continue to run trillion dollar deficits every year, because we are already at $16 trillion in debt. what we have is a d
,000 would see their taxes go up a whopping $5,300 per year. taxes will go up the same amount underneath the democratic and republican plans if no deal is reached. just one day after the christmas holiday, president obama is packing his bags, heading back to washington to try to forge a deal on the fiscal cliff, with just six days left to negotiate, a deal to avoid the catastrophic cliff, the president will leave hawaii tonight to try to work on a bargain between democrats and republicans. brianna keilar is traveling with the president in hawaii and joins us now. good morning, brianna. did the president cut his vacation short or was it planned all along? >> reporter: he did cut his vacation short from what was initially planned which was to go through the new year, so yes, he cut it short. i think we have a sense he might be heading back to d.c., carol, you'll recall when talks fell apart last week between house speaker john boehner and the president as the president departed for hawaii he talked to reporters in the briefing room and he said "see you next week" so i think we had a sense
. back to our top story. all eyes on washington where president obama will meet with congressional leaders to make one more attempt to craft a deal to avert looming tax hikes and spending cuts. with most of the hoist members on vacation until sunday night, no plan in sight. how much can actually be accomplished. susan fereccio joins us now. chief congressional correspondent for the "washington examiner". we're seeing dianne feinstein there on the senate floor. it is vacant on the house side. so in truth how much is really going to get done? >> well, gregg, a lot of this negotiations are really taking place between the leadership levels right now. we don't really have to worry about what is happening on the house floor. it's about what is going on at the white house. now, the president today is going to meet with congressional leaders from both parties, both chambers. they will sit down. they will talk about a potential deal. the president might offer something that maybe the republicans could go for. it wouldn't be a sweeping deal. gregg: like what? >> might be something smaller. w
out in the world though it is hard to find in washington these days. president obama spending holidays in beautiful hawaii where reports now surfaced where he is looking to strike a smaller fiscal deal that would extend tax cuts for the middle class but not tackling any spending cuts. chief white house correspondent ed henry is live in honolulu with more. ed, for the first time, people like joe lieberman are saying i really think we'll go over the cliff. what do you hear? >> reporter: it's a real possibility, you're right. we're a week out. people on both sides have been talking this thing to death. it might need a christmas miracle at this point to avoid going off the cliff. the president scaled back plan basically would extend unemmoment benefits for two million people who will lose them a week after christmas if there is no deal. he also wants to extend tax cuts for 98% of americans. you heard him talk about that again and again. that level of $250,000 or less. the republicans have not afreed to that on the hill obviously. when you talk to folks like senator lindsey graham, they say
on plan c which president obama says would be dealing with short-term issues like two million people who are losingen employment benefits in a week, dealing with the tax issue as you say. he wants to go back to the threshold of 250,000 or more taxes go up, 250 or lower, taxes stay at the bush rates, the lower rates. but in a short-term deal like that, the president said last friday that spending cuts would come later next year at some point, and republicans like speaker boehner are saying if taxes are going up on some, they don't want to just have more revenue coming into the government to spend it on other programs. now, before heading back tonight, as you noted, the president went through with a christmas tradition when he comes out here to hawaii for the holidays. he and the first lady went to visit some troops at a u.s. marine base here, and he had a very simple, direct message. take a listen. >> so we know that it's not easy, but what we also want you to know is that you have the entire country behind you, and all of us understand that we would be nowhere without the extraordinary s
the talks with president obama and speaker boehner athat they were looking at the grand bargain that would include tax increases and changes to social security, changes to medicare, cuts in defense spending potentially as well. we're talking $3 to $4 trillion in changes over years. now it's going to be modest and that may include changes to the tax code. but they're going to have to come back in 2013 no matter what and talk about changes in med sare and social security and address the debt ceiling as well. host: these are two comments and they reflect the frustration in the country. how is the bickering back and forth solving anything fplgt all government spending should be on the table for spending reform. and the other viewer says obama and the other i had yots until the white house are doing what they do best, talk. guest: right after the election we heard them say the election is behind us, we can put down our swords and get down to doing the country's business. that evaporated within days and now we are back to where we were in the summer of 2011 where everyone is back in their corner
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